Speaking (Reading / Neighborhoods)



Idioms & Expressions:

bookworm (noun; someone who is always reading a book)


head in a book (an expression which refers to the act of reading)

She’s a real bookworm. You can always find her with her head in a book.


book smarts (noun; knowledge or intelligence you acquire through reading and studying)

He’s got book smarts, but not much common sense.


(be) an open book (an expression which means someone is very forthcoming and willing to volunteer information)

Ask me anything; I’m an open book!


read between the lines (verb; this expression means to find the subtext in what is being said by not taking something literally)

If you read between the lines, it’s clear that she doesn’t like you.


you can’t judge a book by its cover (an expression which means you can’t judge something by its outward appearance alone)


read him / her like a book (this expression means you know someone so well you are able to understand what someone is thinking just by looking at them)

He says he doesn’t want to go on the trip but I know he really does – I can read him like a book.


hit the books (verb; a casual expression which means “to study”)


read up on / brush up on _____ (verbs; terms which mean to review some material)

I need to brush up on my history, so I’m going to hit the books tonight.


read from cover to cover (to read something completely)

The day I bought it, I read the Harry Potter book from cover to cover.


home sweet home / home is where the heart is (both expressions that mean the things you value are at home)


neighbor on (verb; means one place is right next to another place)

My house neighbors on the corner store.


next-door neighbor (noun; this is a person who lives directly next to you)

That man is my next-door neighbor.

mi casa es su casa (a Spanish phrase that means “my house is your house”)



close-knit (adjective; describes a community where everyone has a good relationship with everyone else)

I come from a small town and a close-knit community.


Part I: Group Discussion

  1. When did you first start reading newspapers?

I read the newspaper when I was about eight years old – the articles anyway. I also read the comic strips in the paper when I was much younger. I still read the paper today, but only a few articles every few days or so.


  1. What different kinds of newspapers are there in your country?

This is a ridiculous question – there are all types of newspapers, from all sorts of perspectives, in most countries. There are mainstream publications and very small ones, and everything in between.


  1. How important is it for people to read the news rather than watch it on TV?

It’s not important at all. Reading can be beneficial for your brain and improve your cognitive skills. But the news is just information, and you can receive it and digest it in any way you want. Just because you read a story doesn’t mean you will understand it better than watching it on TV.

Part II: Individual Presentations

Describe a facility (e.g. sports center, shopping center, cinemas, theater) in your area that you use frequently. You should say:

What kind of facility it is

Where it is located

What the facility has to offer

& explain why you use it so frequently

I guess the only “facility” I really use is CGV cinemas. I go there maybe two or three times a year. I usually go to the one on Ba Trieu, in Vincom Center. It’s pretty comfortable and you can recline in your seats and buy popcorn or coffee to bring into the movie with you. I don’t like to go there too often, even if the movie is good and I really want to see it, because it’s kind of far away from where I live. Also, people in the theater can be annoying. They usually talk during the movie or use their phones, and it’s distracting.

Part III: Pair Interviews

  1. What is a foreign city you’d like to live in? Why?
  2. What kind of book would you like to write? What would it be about?